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Suhithri Paranamanage

Sri Lanka

Bachelor of Commerce

Graduation Class:

Originally from Colombo, Sri Lanka, James Cook University appealed to Suhithri Paranamanage because of its uniqueness that sets it apart from other Australian campuses in major cities. The tropical climate of North Queensland that so mirrors her own native home, and the graduate employability outcome in the region, sealed her decision to enrol at the Townsville campus for a one-of-a-kind Australian study abroad experience. As a star student, she was offered a merit stipend for academic excellence that covers her entire degree program.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic coincided with the beginning of her study period at JCU, which was doubly challenging for international students who were settling in a new country. Fortunately, Paranamanage found immense support from the university, and now proudly calls the Townsville campus her new home.

From the moment her plane landed in Townsville, she was picked up at the airport and was introduced to the people at the College. While finding her footing, Paranamanage learned a lot from a student mentor in her first year, and a CROCS (Coaches Responsible for Orienting Commencing Students) mentor, who specialises in helping international students on campus. Now in her third year, Paranamanage has become a CROCS mentor herself, in addition to being a treasurer of the James Cook University Business Student Association.

The small class sizes and Work Integrated Learning modules have played a huge role in her learning curve. The close student-professor relationships have allowed her to receive tailored support in her studies, while practical modules have instilled transferable skills that Paranamanage has applied in networking and leadership roles.

Her determination and the overall learning experience in Townsville has paid off handsomely. “I was recently able to secure a job at a finance company in Townsville. I have just started my training for this job and I’m excited to see what skills I can develop and where I can go from here,” she says. “I have received a lot of support and encouragement from the staff at JCU. They are always willing to advise you and push you towards achieving your goals.”

“JCU has gone above and beyond in helping me transition into university life from day one. I really believe that it stands out from other universities in terms of the support and care provided to the students throughout the degree. JCU always emphasises seeking avenues of support early and is ready to provide that support when you do,”
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